Tag Archives: Frangipani

Plumeria alba & Plumeria rubra from Cuba

Exquisite images kindly sent to us by a Piccadilly Market customer, Renate Eder, of Frangipani cuttings from Cuba which she has grown until they bloomed.

We stock Plumeria rubra absolute and use it extensively in soaps, creams and massage oils. But Plumeria alba is an unknown quantity. It’s available but wildly expensive….

plumeria-alba-1
Plumeria alba
plumeria-alba-2
Plumeria alba
plumeria-rubra-1
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra
Plumeria rubra

Frangipani, Hawkmoths, God & Sex

Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Frangipani - plumeria rubra

One of the most exotic oils we sell is frangipani. We describe it as ‘rich, heady, exotic, deeply floral’ but that does not do it justice. Together with jasmine, gardenia, lotus, the roses, and a few other flower scents, frangipani is an aristocrat of the sweet, in-your-face, ‘feminine,’ essential oils/absolutes.

Some people baulk at the scent. It’s so sweet. Rose, for example, can be understated. But not frangipani. In its raw form, as an absolute, it grabs you by the throat and may make the eyes water. The variety we sell — plumeria rubra — is coloured blood red.

frangipani-cutting

The frangipani tree enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the Frangipani Hawkmoth (pseudosphinx tetrio). The caterpillars are tremendous: six inches long, a poisonous yellow and black, a spike on abdominal segment eight, feeding on the frangipani leaves before pupating and emerging as a moth with a five inch wing-span.

Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio
Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio

The moth returns to the frangipani flowers, attracted by the perfume, in search of nectar, and a dirty trick is pulled on it: there is no nectar, only pollen, which the moth distributes unwittingly to other trees, causing fertilisation to occur.

Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio -1

There’s much more to be said about frangipani. It has a role in both religion and sex. It is the national tree of Laos (called dok jampa) and every Buddhist temple has one or more in their courtyard.

frangipani - Laos

In Polynesian culture, the frangipani is worn by women to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear if seeking a relationship, over the left if taken.

Frangipani Polynesia

Essential Oils — beauty on many levels

Essential oils:

  • smell fabulous — used for millennia in scents and balms
  • good for you — we sell lots of Tea Tree for spots and Athlete’s Foot!
  • go deep into human history — Mary Magdalen poured Spikenard on the feet of Christ and wiped it away with her hair

Not only that but the plants they come from are often exquisitely beautiful:

caraway - carum carvi
Caraway - carum carvi
Cardamom - elettaria cardamomum
Cardamom - elettaria cardamomum
Carrot seed - daucus carota
Carrot Seed - daucus carota
Chamomile moroccan - ormenis multicaulis
Chamomile moroccan - ormenis multicaulis
Dill - anethum graveolens
Dill - anethum graveolens
Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Grapefruit - citrus paradisi
Grapefruit - citrus paradisi
Jasmine - jasminum grandiflorum L
Jasmine - jasminum grandiflorum L
Oakmoss - evernia prunastri
Oakmoss - evernia prunastri

Specialist Essential Oils

The following specialist essential oils are normally available from us in central London:

  • Chamomile Matricaria Absolute
  • Frangipani Absolute
  • Gardenia Absolute
  • Honeysuckle Absolute
  • Hyacinth Absolute
  • Jasmine Absolute
  • Marigold Absolute
  • Neroli Absolute
  • Rose Maroc Absolute
  • Rose Otto Steam Distilled
  • Sandalwood Indian Steam Distilled
  • Vanilla Absolute

We keep a limited stock so best to phone before visiting. You can smell the oils before purchase. We open four days a week, Wed-Sat incl, 10am – 6pm at:

Havenessence
Piccadilly Market
St James’s Church
197 Piccadilly
London W1J 9LL

Tel: 07588 964 422

Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle